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Logo antenna diagram  (Source: Patently Apple)
Antennas will be used on more than the iPhone

Apple caught a lot of heat soon after the iPhone 4 launched due to issues surrounding the devices's antenna. The problems infuriated so many iPhone 4 users that Steve Jobs even suggested they were “holding it wrong”. While the antenna woes of the iPhone 4 are legendary at this point, Apple is working on a new tech for future mobile devices.

Patently Apple has dug up a patent application that outlines how the company plans to incorporate the antenna for some of its devices behind the Apple logo. That would move the antenna closer to the surface of the devices. Presumably that would help with the problem the iPhone 4 faced. While the iPad currently uses a similar placement for its Wi-Fi antenna, Apple's new design would incorporate cellular and GPS antennas as well.

The new antenna design is aimed for use in more than just the iPhone; it will also be used on MacBooks as well. 
Patently Apple reports that the new antenna may transmit and receive radio-frequency signals through a dielectric window mounted in a housing wall. The antenna could also reportedly have a patch antenna resonating element inside.

The patent in question is 20100321253 and it was filed in June of 2009 and lists Apple employees Ruben Caballero - Senior director of iPhone/iPod - and members of his team including Enrique Ayala Vazquez, Gregory Springer, Bing Chiang, Douglas Kough, Robert Schlub, Yi Jiang, Angulo Gomez and Andres Rodney.



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What?
By DKantUno on 12/24/2010 4:13:05 PM , Rating: 4
Why exactly is this idea supposed to be protected by a patent? What is so awesomely innovative about putting your antenna...just about anywhere in the device? And even if it was 'unique' in some way...a patent on antenna placement?




RE: What?
By Solandri on 12/25/2010 2:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
Reading through the linked article, it's basically just putting the antenna behind a non-conductive window (which can be used as a logo) on a metal chassis. Hardly patent-worthy, and I seriously doubt it would stand up in court.

That said, it addresses a problem faced predominantly by Apple and nobody else. Apple's products prioritize artistic design over engineering. When they decided to make the laptop metal, they said "we should make the whole outside of the case completely metal because it'll look/feel cool" oblivious to the protests from their engineering department that doing so encases their WiFi antenna in a faraday cage. Other companies just made the parts which needed the most strength out of metal (mine uses a metal keyboard bezel to give it stiffness, and a metal plate behind the LCD to protect it) and don't have this problem.


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